Letryx13

Is Sazed Correct about people's growth?

Is Sazed Correct about people's growth?   47 members have voted

  1. 1. Who is correct about technological advancement, Sazed or Kelsider?

    • Sazed
      14
    • Kelsier
      15
    • Something in Between
      18

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27 posts in this topic

In Kelsier's epilogue, he and Sazed discuss whether or not Sazed should lead the people of Scadrial to a technological revolution. Sazed states that it's better for the people to discover things on their own. Kelsier counters the conflict wouldn't have happened if the people of Scadrial had been more advanced.  Sazed has admitted previously that he thinks he's made things to easy for the people of the Basin, and that's why they haven't advanced as much as he'd expected. But if he'd given them the technology, they wouldn't need to discover it. 

Who's beliefs are more valid?

Personally, I think Sazed's opinion is more valid.  This resonates with several other fictional sources I'm fond of, and I think it's true.  In Stormlight Archives, Dalinar discusses with one of his ardents the value of growing stronger through adversity, both as an individual and as a people.  And the two discussions resonate, I think.  Beyond that, the concept of people valuing things they've earned over what they've been given is something that's often explored in literature and other media.  And that appreciation affects how they treat whatever it is. Be it technology, peace, or even financial wealth.  Right now, Sazed says he puts people where they need to be, but allows them to make their own decisions.  That's not a bad approach, all things considered. Perhaps Sazed could help nudge people in the right direction a little, but just giving the secrets away seems unwise.

Hand outs are dangerous, because people can start to rely on them very easily, and because once it happens a first time, it's much harder to argue against doing it a second time.  Teach a man to fish, and all that.

Edited by Letryx13
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I made a longer post about this in a thread the Cosmere spoilers segment for TLM, although that's more focused around the idea of whether adversity really spurs scientific development.

The short of it is yes and no, and it depends on what we consider to be 'conflict', 'advancement', and 'innovation.' Are we thinking about science, or are we thinking about technological innovation? World War 2 is a decent example of the pressures and demands of wartime spurring technoscientific developments. But WW2 was in a powerful sense a modern war, and countries could afford to actually focus boffins on problems. Historically, I'd argue that plenty and positive social conditions (e.g. caliphs who supported scholarship and built institutions to amass knowledge and encourage scholarly collaboration, with the Golden Age of Islamic/Arab Science being a clear counterexample) were more positive on that front. This is to do with a lot of discussions I'm bracketing as well about the foundations of modern science and shifting epistemologies.

More germane to this discussion: I'm more with Kelsier. I don't really think that discovery stops just because Sazed gives them more knowledge, so long as the social conditions for curiosity and scientific discovery are met. (Again, separate issue.) The parallel that speaks to me comes from two fronts: I think of yet again, the Golden Age of Islamic Science, and I think of the history of medicine in Japan.

I think it's often a mistake to think of people as mere recipients or transmitters of knowledge. People don't often preserve: they challenge, they question, they add. Islamic proto-scientists added to the medical, astronomical, and physical canon. They made their own observations. They theorised. They responded to a body of knowledge that had been received, and then sought to write their own page in that great book. The history of Japanese medicine is also interesting because it's dominated by two large traditions: first, imports of Chinese medical frameworks, referred to as Kanpō in - I think it was the sixth century? - and then subsequently, a rush to adopt Western medicine (well, technically Dutch medicine - rangaku in the Tokugawa shogunate) and to reconcile it with existing knowledge. We have Japanese medical scholars in both instances questioning, seeking to contextualise, develop, and to apply knowledge to local conditions, taking control of it, and making it their own. Sometimes this meant haphazard adoption, unsystematic translations, and lots of mixtures between the old and the new system. I don't think it's really possible for Sazed to 'hand them the answers' in a way that damages scholarship. Unless we're supposed to accept Sazed knows everything, simpliciter, there's always something to be discovered, and new places for research to go.

To some extent, the colonial experience is (was I suppose I should say since we are now our own country :) ) this way because we don't get to choose what the Western powers shoved into us and our education system, but while there have been movements to restore or at least acknowledge prior epistemologies, no one seriously thinks that the experience made us 'lazy' or 'unappreciative.' But that's how you get hospitals next to traditional clinics co-existing peacefully I suppose, and a consensus that 'Western medicine' is where you go when you want results, and 'traditional medicine' is good for specialised problems.

I don't actually think being 'too sheltered', FWIW, is a reasonable response to any failure on the part of North Scadrians to develop a proper scientific community. Era 2 suggests they're already there.

Now, the one argument I could see for pacing development actually goes in the other direction - it's that if they develop too fast, Scadrian society might not be prepared to deal with the negative externalities of development, or the demands they make on society. That I think is a fair concern.

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If people must make their own advancements, does that mean we as modern people are wrong to use electric lights, computers, refrigerators, cars, etc? Most of us don't have even the fundamental ideas of how modern technology works, let alone the knowledge to actually build it. We know how to operate it in many cases, but sometimes not even that. We have specialists who study and learn how this technology works, but they represent a tiny fragment of the people that benefit from the work and learning of those that came before us. I know a lot of sci-fi talks about how dangerous it is to give advanced technology to those that how not gone through the development to make it on their own. But think this is confusing technological and moral progress. A society is not more moral or made of better people due to technological advancement. Frankly, I shouldn't even need to state that. But often it seems to me that people take the word, "progress" and assume it can be applied at a uniform rate. It really can't. I believe people are fundamentally of the same nature, which means you and I are no more or less innately moral than a caveman in the neolithic era. Nor are we more or less innately moral than our far future decedents will be. The result is that I don't think there's any technology people are going to be "not ready for." Sure, they might not understand it and need to develop their scientific knowledge more to use it efficiently or replicate it, but I don't think we should pretend that we're more moral people than the Romans because we have microwaves. We may be generally more moral than them (I'm not saying we are), but technology is certainly not the reason why.

So what's my point with all this? I don't understand Sazed argument fully. I get that Scadrian society needs to develop their scientific knowledge to make use of technology. But Sazed wouldn't just be giving them the machines already assembled, he'd giving them knowledge. In other words, he'd be teaching them, just as any modern scientist is schooled in the knowledge of past advances before they make anything of their own, the Scadrian scientists would be learning about the principles behind any technology Sazed could give them before actually being able to build it. Unless Sazed just starts giving them blueprints, in which case they'd be reverse engineering those blueprints, and the outcome would be mostly the same. Sure, you can say that they would be gaining knowledge without wisdom, but societies don't have wisdom, individuals have wisdom. So yeah, I agree with Kel. Sazed is holding to a principle that, while noble, is flawed. I don't think Sazed should give Scadrial all the knowledge he has, or even give them a ton of knowledge in a single burst. But I do think that he should take efforts to accelerate their advancement.

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If I went back in time and have the Romans a car they would be awes by it's power and would use it to dominate the world. However they would be unable to make it work themselves.

The same applies here, if Sazed gave Elendel a spaceship they could traverse the stars, but it would take them decades, maybe centuries to make a second one.

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I think that there are real social and cultural benefits to developing the skills and infrastructure which allow discoveries of new technology which would not be available if the technology were just given to them. I can also imagine weird social and cultural development impacts to living in an environment of endless received technology, though which might actually occur is hard to predict in the general case. It takes a lot, and in very diverse sectors, to maintain higher levels of technology.

I also don't think that technology, as a concept, is a great sole organizing principle for a society. The technology the Lord Ruler permitted was under his control and was only sustainable (in the society he constructed and maintained) with mass slavery. Had he allowed automobiles or airplanes too, I don't think that society would have been that much different for anyone in the Final Empire. As an era 2 example, locomotive technology had huge impacts for everyone in the Basin and Roughs but was radically uneven in whom was benefited, and how much. Had Northern Scadrians had airships, nuclear power, smart phones, and laser guns, I don't see how Autonomy's plans would have been any different or the intra-Scadrial conflicts would have been mitigated. The Set would still have jockeyed aggressively for effective control of those, would still have accumulated influence in every government they could reach, the tensions between Elendel and everywhere else wouldn't (necessarily) have been any better, the resources available to one group relative to another would probably not have been less balanced, etc.

The problems that exist on Scadrial, and the dangers that its inhabitants face, aren't really technological-- the Northerners (who have the least advanced technology on the planet) nevertheless live in a place of abundant resources. And Scadrial is one of the more technologically advanced of Shardworlds (though "technologically" gets fuzzy with such diverse magic available in different places).

Edited by Returned
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8 hours ago, Returned said:

The problems that exist on Scadrial, and the dangers that its inhabitants face, aren't really technological-- the Northerners (who have the least advanced technology on the planet) nevertheless live in a place of abundant resources. And Scadrial is one of the more technologically advanced of Shardworlds (though "technologically" gets fuzzy with such diverse magic available in different places).

Yes, but the problems they are now facing are military, no longer economical in nature.

It seems that there are two safe positions. Either so backward that Autonomy does not bother you, or so advanced that she does not dare act against you. Scadrial is in the dangerous region in between.

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23 minutes ago, Oltux72 said:

Yes, but the problems they are now facing are military, no longer economical in nature.

It seems that there are two safe positions. Either so backward that Autonomy does not bother you, or so advanced that she does not dare act against you. Scadrial is in the dangerous region in between.

Military problems are also economic problems. The ability for Scadrians to defend themselves requires that they be able to actually manufacture weapons (and similar) and have people that can afford the time and focus to learn to use them. Having better technology known to your society doesn't necessarily organize everyone in ways that can produce it at scale and in time or use it in practical ways. One of the issues in Lost Metal is that the Basin can't quickly get onto a war footing despite its wealth-- even if we include Bilming's fleet (so, pretending it wasn't under the control of Autonomy's agents), the North wasn't ready to deal with a military threat from the South.

I'm not sure I'd rely on Autonomy choosing to ignore me, at least not as a Shardworld (even a minor one, like in Sixth of Dusk). And all the technology in the world won't save Scadrial from schemes like Telsin was pursuing, which is an option Autonomy would always have (a powerful collaborator). Unless they develop technology that completely blocks Autonomy's influence, even through agents, 

 

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4 hours ago, Returned said:

Military problems are also economic problems. The ability for Scadrians to defend themselves requires that they be able to actually manufacture weapons (and similar) and have people that can afford the time and focus to learn to use them. Having better technology known to your society doesn't necessarily organize everyone in ways that can produce it at scale and in time or use it in practical ways. One of the issues in Lost Metal is that the Basin can't quickly get onto a war footing despite its wealth-- even if we include Bilming's fleet (so, pretending it wasn't under the control of Autonomy's agents), the North wasn't ready to deal with a military threat from the South.

True, but it works the other way round. If you are too far behind in terms of technology, you will lose, no matter how large you economy be. That's basically the story of China in the 19th century.

4 hours ago, Returned said:

I'm not sure I'd rely on Autonomy choosing to ignore me, at least not as a Shardworld (even a minor one, like in Sixth of Dusk). And all the technology in the world won't save Scadrial from schemes like Telsin was pursuing, which is an option Autonomy would always have (a powerful collaborator). Unless they develop technology that completely blocks Autonomy's influence, even through agents,

I would not say that it is the better option. But it is an option that may work. Rashek and Leras, be it intentionally or not, used that strategy. And they coupled it with more and better Allomancers and a competent security service. In terms of planetary defense, the Final Empire was more effective.

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On 11/24/2022 at 5:38 AM, Oltux72 said:

True, but it works the other way round. If you are too far behind in terms of technology, you will lose, no matter how large you economy be. That's basically the story of China in the 19th century. [...]

I would not say that it is the better option. But it is an option that may work. Rashek and Leras, be it intentionally or not, used that strategy. And they coupled it with more and better Allomancers and a competent security service. In terms of planetary defense, the Final Empire was more effective.

All fair. They're just the reasons I think that Sazed is more correct than Kelsier.

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On 11/21/2022 at 4:02 PM, Frustration said:

If I went back in time and have the Romans a car they would be awes by it's power and would use it to dominate the world. However they would be unable to make it work themselves.

The same applies here, if Sazed gave Elendel a spaceship they could traverse the stars, but it would take them decades, maybe centuries to make a second one.

I think Sazed's point is more if the Romans in your example behaved like the Basiners, they'd just use it to drive around the streets of Rome. The Basiners' problem in Sazed's opinion isn't a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of a burning need to take what has been given and advance.

Like you said, the Romans would dominate the world, while the Northern Scadrians have barely left the Basin even with resources beyond nature's provision.

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1 hour ago, Rorzikel said:

I think Sazed's point is more if the Romans in your example behaved like the Basiners, they'd just use it to drive around the streets of Rome. The Basiners' problem in Sazed's opinion isn't a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of a burning need to take what has been given and advance.

Like you said, the Romans would dominate the world, while the Northern Scadrians have barely left the Basin even with resources beyond nature's provision.

Dang, that's actually a really good point. Enough so that I now need to reconsider my stance of agreeing with Kel.

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1 hour ago, Rorzikel said:

I think Sazed's point is more if the Romans in your example behaved like the Basiners, they'd just use it to drive around the streets of Rome. The Basiners' problem in Sazed's opinion isn't a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of a burning need to take what has been given and advance.

Like you said, the Romans would dominate the world, while the Northern Scadrians have barely left the Basin even with resources beyond nature's provision.

And my point on spaceships? Sazed isn't talking about their complacency in exploring, but that if given advanced technology they won't know how to properly apply replicate or advance from it.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

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2 hours ago, Frustration said:

And my point on spaceships? Sazed isn't talking about their complacency in exploring, but that if given advanced technology they won't know how to properly apply replicate or advance from it.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

The inability to replicate or advance is directly related to the complacency I was talking about. If people don't understand what they're using there's a major problem. Sure, average people might not fully get how their phones and toaster ovens work, but there are legions of engineers, technicians, and scientists who do know how these things work and the principles behind them. Radio isn't a crazy jump for Scadrians to work out, but what about Sazed giving them modern day computers? Will the Basiners learn to program and to work with hardware when Harmony can replace old technology with something that would take them decades to puzzle through? Who will innovate when God will do it better? Who will experiment when God has given you the right answers without the fumbling of human error?

On 11/21/2022 at 4:02 PM, Frustration said:

The same applies here, if Sazed gave Elendel a spaceship they could traverse the stars, but it would take them decades, maybe centuries to make a second one.

And I'm saying that it would take eternity to build a second one if Harmony wasn't holding their hand for the construction process and the myriad things that are needed to build the parts for the construction. The more Sazed gives, the more reliant they are on him like a child that never stopped breastfeeding. And as it appears, Discord might not be very reliable.

Ultimately, think on this: who designs the next Apple iphone, the sweatshop workers or Apple's engineers and programmers? If Apple collapses, will the sweatshop workers be able to make the next version on their own?

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I wonder where the line is between a Shard interacting with people and intervening more directly than they're allowed to. Shards aren't supposed to just smite people (Odium couldn't "harm" Wit at the end of Rhythm of War), but a lot of Shards' behavior when they want something to happen is almost ridiculously circuitous. An impossible-to-measure amount of that is probably related to futuresight, but maybe there is something prohibiting a Shard from just magically assembling a bunch of laser guns and fusion reactors on a planet for people to pick up and use.

Shards' physical manifestations are in a lot of ways their least meaningful ones for the actions they undertake. Spiritual elements seem mostly covered in the magic systems that result from Shards' Investing in specific places, and don't seem to change much outside of interactions with other Shards' Investments. The cognitive realm is interesting in how it's shaped by mortals and not Shards, and seems to be the realm which the Shards manipulate the least (or at least the least directly). Shards seem to be bound by rules we don't know about according to principles we don't understand, and so much of their actions seem almost metaphorical (or otherwise freighted with complicating implications). I wonder if there are more pressing reasons for Sazed to have held off gifting more technology to Scadrians than just his view of what's the best way for people to develop.

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On 26.11.2022 at 0:05 AM, Rorzikel said:

I think Sazed's point is more if the Romans in your example behaved like the Basiners, they'd just use it to drive around the streets of Rome. The Basiners' problem in Sazed's opinion isn't a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of a burning need to take what has been given and advance.

Like you said, the Romans would dominate the world, while the Northern Scadrians have barely left the Basin even with resources beyond nature's provision.

Well, that could mean that the Basiners just need war. Most people after all get their innovations from someone else. Now you could argue that the Basiners will never learn how to do R&D well unless they have to. But they are getting a challenge. If a hydrogen bomb (or its equivalent) in your harbor is not a challenge, nothing will do.

On 26.11.2022 at 2:04 AM, Ookla the Frustrated. said:

And my point on spaceships? Sazed isn't talking about their complacency in exploring, but that if given advanced technology they won't know how to properly apply replicate or advance from it.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

It need not be advanced technology. Haarmony could give them basic scientific knowledge. It would stifle their own basic research for a time, but that can be overcome. Look at Japan.

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Advancing slowly prevented Autonomy from launching an attack outright. Only when there was a tech explosion did Autonomy decide the world had to be destroyed. So, Sazed is again right about moving slowly (both for humane as well as cosmere-specific reasons) 

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Just now, teknopathetic said:

Advancing slowly prevented Autonomy from launching an attack outright. Only when there was a tech explosion did Autonomy decide the world had to be destroyed. So, Sazed is again right about moving slowly (both for humane as well as cosmere-specific reasons) 

That is a useful observation only if faster progress can be avoided. Going by our Earth in the 19th and 20th centuries, it cannot be avoided.

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4 hours ago, Oltux72 said:

That is a useful observation only if faster progress can be avoided. Going by our Earth in the 19th and 20th centuries, it cannot be avoided.

If it can't be avoided, then you do not need the violent tech revolution Kelsier wants to artificially create.

I mean, you could move to rapid industrialization like our world did, but without a counter balance with other things you get child labour workforces and people being locked inside factories and burning to death in fires. Or people having their jaws rot off from licking phosphorus matches. Think of all the true slavery or wage slavery, female poverty workers, animal extinctions, pollutions, cancers, human rights abuses, wealth gaps, etc etc. It isn't "neutral".The industrial revolution was utter destruction and cruelty for so many people. Sazed wanting to slow things down to prevent that occurring is very respectable in my view. 

Our planet had a magnificently fast and horrifically cruel industrialization, and I don't think we want to have Scadrial return to Skaa-like labour forces and the like. What Kelsier wants has consequences. Sazed has TWO future sight powers and a deep understanding of ruin; I think I will go with Sazed on what is good for humanity as a whole on this one. 

Edited by teknopathetic
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5 hours ago, teknopathetic said:

If it can't be avoided, then you do not need the violent tech revolution Kelsier wants to artificially create.

I mean, you could move to rapid industrialization like our world did, but without a counter balance with other things you get child labour workforces and people being locked inside factories and burning to death in fires. Or people having their jaws rot off from licking phosphorus matches. Think of all the true slavery or wage slavery, female poverty workers, animal extinctions, pollutions, cancers, human rights abuses, wealth gaps, etc etc. It isn't "neutral".The industrial revolution was utter destruction and cruelty for so many people. Sazed wanting to slow things down to prevent that occurring is very respectable in my view. 

Our planet had a magnificently fast and horrifically cruel industrialization, and I don't think we want to have Scadrial return to Skaa-like labour forces and the like. What Kelsier wants has consequences. Sazed has TWO future sight powers and a deep understanding of ruin; I think I will go with Sazed on what is good for humanity as a whole on this one. 

I don't know that the cruelty of Earth's industrial revolution and the speed of our technological development are linked like that, and I certainly don't think that has to be the case. If anything, one of the problems of our industrial revolution might have been that it didn't progress fast enough. Humans were used to make up for the fact that machines were crude but widely implemented. The big thing about technological advancement is that as technology develops things that were more expensive become cheaper. In the industrial revolution, doing things safely and morally was more expensive than doing them cruelly and cheaply. But as technology has developed the safe and moral ways have become cheaper than the dangerous ways. Society hasn't improved because people became more moral over the centuries, its improved because its become easier to be good than evil. Part of that ease is technology increasing the amount of available resources and available quality of living (and also the ability to uncover evidence and track down criminal, but I'm staying on the more optimistic side for this post). In that case, more cruelty might be avoided if Sazed accelerated technological development.

Now, I do agree that people will misuse any technology that they're given. But I'd also argue that on a whole, more people have benefited from advancements in technology than have been hurt by it. I know that's a bold claim and I don't want to dismiss away the suffering of others, I just want to point out that if we're talking about reason why Sazed should avoid accelerating the Basin's technology, I don't know that reducing cruelty is a valid reason. I agree that what Kelsier wants has consequences, but I'm not sure they're what you're describing. At least not so inherently so.

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1 hour ago, HSuperLee said:

If anything, one of the problems of our industrial revolution might have been that it didn't progress fast enough.

That's an interesting idea I haven't come across before. Big technological changes have a tendency to cause large displacements of workers, but I can see the angle that more advancements in a short period can lead to fewer periods of displacement.

1 hour ago, HSuperLee said:

In the industrial revolution, doing things safely and morally was more expensive than doing them cruelly and cheaply. But as technology has developed the safe and moral ways have become cheaper than the dangerous ways. Society hasn't improved because people became more moral over the centuries, its improved because its become easier to be good than evil. [...]

But I'd also argue that on a whole, more people have benefited from advancements in technology than have been hurt by it. I know that's a bold claim and I don't want to dismiss away the suffering of others, I just want to point out that if we're talking about reason why Sazed should avoid accelerating the Basin's technology, I don't know that reducing cruelty is a valid reason.

Umm... citation needed. Safer options exist today compared with the 19th century, but they're still more expensive than less safe methods. See circumstances like toxic waste dumping, children getting nicotine poisoning in tobacco fields, companies cut corners on safety requirements, etc. Even when manufacturers do comply with safer practices it's often due to regulations with legal force, and many manufacturers just move their operations to places where those regulations don't exist.

I'll agree that improvements in material standards of living have benefited huge numbers of people, and as we stretch our assessments of those improvements into the unlimited future it's easy to say they outweigh abuse and exploitation of people that will live and die in any fixed location and time period. But that "effective altruism"-style argument has an awkward track record at best and is a much harder sell in advance compared with in hindsight.

Bringing examples back around to Scadrial, skaa laborers in era 2 are much less likely to be outright murdered by a noble without consequences than in era 1, and they definitely enjoy a better standard of living (in Elendel itself, at least). But they are still frequently exploited by the wealthy and powerful, working frequent 12-hour shifts for less-than-amazing pay at demanding jobs. If people like Edwarn or high-ranking members of the Set had its way those workers would be even more dominated. I don't think that having better technology available would inherently fix that-- if everyone in Elendel had a refrigerator their position would probably still be the same. So in that dimension I agree with you: I don't think that more advanced technology would make the Scadrians any less cruel than they are.

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8 minutes ago, Returned said:

Umm... citation needed.

Absolutely agreed, citation needed. My point is more complex but would take us on a tangent, so I'm going to move past it for now. You are correct to call me out though.

9 minutes ago, Returned said:

I don't think that more advanced technology would make the Scadrians any less cruel than they are.

And this is the problem I keep coming back to with Sazed position. And, Returned, I'm not just replying to you here, I've been thinking about it as I've looked through this whole thread. I truly believe that humanity doesn't change, our circumstances do. I think that Scadrians under the Lord Ruler have the same fundamental nature as Scadrians in Era 2 as Scadrians in Era 4 as Scadrians when the species ceases to exist. And if that's the case, I struggle to see why an infusion of knowledge, and I do differentiate that from an infusion of technology is an inherently bad thing like Sazed seems to believe. I understand that people can be given technology they're not ready for because they don't know how it works and can underestimate the consequences of it. But if you just give them knowledge and have them develop the technology on their own, that seems to solve a number of problems. I mean its not like any of us are born with all the scientific knowledge of our civilizations, we have to go to school and learn it, which just a slow infusion of knowledge. Once that knowledge is gained people develop off the technology we have. I think there's a difference between Sazed giving Scadrians a computer, or even blueprints to build a computer, and giving them the periodic table of elements. Two of those are gifting them the knowledge of how to build something, the last is giving them knowledge of how the universe works. If people's nature doesn't change with time, and if we all start learning from having personal knowledge whatsoever, I am really struggling, though I am trying, to see how Sazed giving the Scadrians knowledge and only knowledge would be any different than a modern person getting a scientific education.

I will admit, this is based on my assumption of people's nature not changing over time, which I do not know if Sanderson agrees with. It is also based on my assumption that Sazed would give scientific knowledge rather than technological knowledge (I know I'm splitting hairs with those terms, but I'm doing it intentionally).

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On 21/11/2022 at 1:23 PM, Letryx13 said:

In Kelsier's epilogue, he and Sazed discuss whether or not Sazed should lead the people of Scadrial to a technological revolution. Sazed states that it's better for the people to discover things on their own. Kelsier counters the conflict wouldn't have happened if the people of Scadrial had been more advanced.

I don’t think that’s quite the point that Kelsier is making. It’s not really about the disaster that was just averted - it’s about the fact that Scadrial is still facing an existential threat that they are nowhere near ready to deal with. 
 

The question of whether Scadrian society will be better off in the long term with less intervention from Harmony is a bit moot if Kelsier is correct. If Autonomy or someone similar is coming to destroy them, the Scadrians need advanced tech (and Metalborn) now. Speed is more important than letting discoveries happen organically. You can’t have a natural technological revolution if everyone is dead. 

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2 hours ago, RedBlue said:

I don’t think that’s quite the point that Kelsier is making. It’s not really about the disaster that was just averted - it’s about the fact that Scadrial is still facing an existential threat that they are nowhere near ready to deal with. 
 

The question of whether Scadrian society will be better off in the long term with less intervention from Harmony is a bit moot if Kelsier is correct. If Autonomy or someone similar is coming to destroy them, the Scadrians need advanced tech (and Metalborn) now. Speed is more important than letting discoveries happen organically. You can’t have a natural technological revolution if everyone is dead. 

And yet it’s that very advancement that turned them into a target of Autonomy the first place. Besides, if Autonomy is sharing information about technology, and Sazed does the same, then it turns into an arms race, and that never ends well. 
 

Personally, I think he needs to encourage the advancement, perhaps a little more than he has, and try to reach out to other worlds to make allies. I’m fairly confident that Mistborn Era two happens before Stormlight Archives, so maybe try reaching out to Roashar or Sel. Prove to Autonomy that unity is superior. 

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46 minutes ago, Letryx13 said:

And yet it’s that very advancement that turned them into a target of Autonomy the first place. Besides, if Autonomy is sharing information about technology, and Sazed does the same, then it turns into an arms race, and that never ends well.

It’s not just the technological advancement that makes them a target. Harmony’s existence, as a double Shard, draws attention. Even if there was a point when flying under the radar was an option, that point has passed. Autonomy is gunning for Scadrial now, and they need to prepare or get wiped out (or taken over). Arms races don’t end well, but being invaded by a technologically much superior power would be much, much worse.

I agree that making alliances with other planets should be a priority for Harmony, and doing that properly will require interstellar travel. As Kelsier said, going through Shadesmar is not reliable for large numbers of people. And alliances will not be very meaningful if there is no viable way to move large numbers of non-specialists between planets.

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22 hours ago, RedBlue said:

It’s not just the technological advancement that makes them a target. Harmony’s existence, as a double Shard, draws attention. Even if there was a point when flying under the radar was an option, that point has passed. Autonomy is gunning for Scadrial now, and they need to prepare or get wiped out (or taken over). Arms races don’t end well, but being invaded by a technologically much superior power would be much, much worse.

I agree that making alliances with other planets should be a priority for Harmony, and doing that properly will require interstellar travel. As Kelsier said, going through Shadesmar is not reliable for large numbers of people. And alliances will not be very meaningful if there is no viable way to move large numbers of non-specialists between planets.

If invested people aren’t able to easily leave their world through shadeSmar, I doubt traveling by spaceship would work much better. But Autonomy is able to send her forces through shadesmar, which probably isn’t technological. That’s what Scadrial needs to focus on, so they can develop alliances with other worlds. 
 

And while it’s true that Harmony’s power makes him a target, Autonomy also has to be careful dealing with him for that same reason. He is, by one measurement at least, the most powerful being in the cosmere. That’s not an opponent to be taken lightly. Besides, autonomy’s real threat seems to come from her greater understanding of magic systems, like with the Trellium spikes. If the Set had more advanced weapons, they didn’t show them much beyond more advanced metallic arts. 
 

Most importantly, and my original point with this poll, if Harmony just gives them the knowledge, he actually weakens their growth. He talks about this in his conversation with Wax in Shadow of Law. He made the basin too perfect, which prevented people from advancing. Helping to encourage growth is fine, but just handing out things like that makes people reliant on it. And that prevents growth, since they believe they can just count on whoever handed out the resources to do so again. 

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